BJP campaign on in Kerala

via VR Jayaraj | Thiruvananthapuram - Daily Pioneer published on March 14, 2011

Even as both the CPI(M) and Congress are still struggling to settle seat-sharing disputes with their respective front partners, several of the BJP’s candidates have already begun campaigning in their constituencies.

Leading among the BJP candidates who started campaigning early are former union minister O Rajagopal and former State party president PK Krishnadas in their respective constituencies of Nemom and Kattakkada in Thiruvananthapuram district. The BJP candidate to start full-fledged campaign first is State general secretary K Surendran in Manjeswaram.

Rajagopal started his campaign by visiting the poor colonies in the constituency to have first-hand knowledge of the problems the people there were facing and also to familiarize with them. His campaign managers want him to use the time-advantage for establishing a one-to-one contact with as many voters as possible.

Rajagopal says that the condition of the poor man’s colonies has failed to improve despite the tall claims of the successive governments of the Congress-led UDF and the CPI(M)-led LDF. He sounds confident when he says that the people, fed up with the hypocritical promises of the politicians in both these camps, would stand by the BJP this time.

Rajagopal has reasons to be confident in Nemom. He had contested in the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat of which Nemom is an Assembly segment in 2004. Though he was pushed into third position then, the difference of votes scored by him and Congress’s Sivakumar, who claimed the second position, was just 3,400.

The BJP poll-managers feel that the situation this time is far more favourable for the party/ “Both the LDF and UDF have proved themselves to be submerged in corruption. The two fronts don’t have a slogan to put forward to the people. We are confident of emerging as a strong force in the thirteenth Assembly,” said a senior BJP leader.

Former president PK Krishnadas and State Yuva Morcha president VV Rajesh have also become active in campaigning in their respective constituencies in Thiruvananthapuram district – Kattakkada and Vattiyoorkavu. Rajesh says that he is planning to meet as many voters as possible in the first days.

However, the most confident battle of the BJP is being waged in Manjeswaram in the northernmost Kasaragod district, the one seat the BJP thinks where lotus is sure to bloom this time. K Surendran, known as the most eloquent and efficient young leader of the party in the State, is poised for a tough triangular fight there.

The BJP has been losing this seat by a whisker in the past several elections. In the 2006 Assembly election, BJP’s Narayana Bhatt had lost Manjeswaram to CPI(M)’s CH Kunhambu by 4,829 votes, a very meager margin considering the pro-Left wave that was sweeping through Kerala then.

In the 1996 Assembly election, Manjeswaram had come closer to electing a BJP candidate. BJP workers there still say that it was sheer lack of luck that defeated party candidate V Balakrishna Shetty then. The majority Muslim League’s Cherkalam Abdulla had managed to muster then over Shetty was just 2,292.

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